News of: Monday, 7th of March, 2011
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Dhaka University students yesterday vandalised around 100 vehicles, set a bus afire and clashed with police in protest at the death of a fellow student.
Counsels for Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus yesterday argued that there is no legal bar for him to continue as the managing director of Grameen Bank since the Bangladesh Bank's directive to remove him was illegal.
The final draft of a new law proposes that no civil servant should be forced into retirement as punishment without adequate departmental proceedings including an opportunity of self-defence.
At least three Bangladeshi evacuees died yesterday after they jumped from a ship that was carrying them to the Crete Island in Greece from strife-torn Libya.
Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) premises in the city's Mohakhali look to be a long abandoned place. Cattle graze freely, while a dustbin near the main gate overflows with garbage. The air stinks with stray dogs feasting on rotten leftovers all around.
Ireland provided further evidence that they are the most improved of the Associate nations after stretching India during their match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore yesterday. They had astonished the world with their scarcely believable defeat of England at the same ground four days earlier, but yesterday India's batting proved to be too strong for them.
The government opens for public today the much-talked-about Swadhinata Stambha complex at historic Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital without instituting an authority to look after it or completing much of its work.
A 12-year-old girl was stabbed in the neck by a stalker yesterday at Burhanpur in Hazaribagh of the city, while she was going home from school.
The High Court yesterday ordered the owner of MAK Corporation, a ship-breaking yard at Sitakunda in Chittagong, to pay within 15 days Tk 5 lakh in compensation to each of the families of the four workers killed in an explosion at the yard last month.
March 7 was expected to be a day of decision for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the government has tarnished the country's image in the global arena by removing Dr Muhammad Yunus from the post of Grameen Bank's managing director in a disrespectful way.
Libyan troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi launched counter-offensives on three rebel-held towns yesterday as the popular uprising escalated into open warfare.
The British government said it will provide three emergency evacuation flights to repatriate 500 Bangladeshis stranded in Tunisia.
Investigators of International Crimes Tribunal have gathered evidence and statements of witnesses who were forced to convert to Muslim at gunpoint in Rajshahi following directives of former Jamaat-e Islami Ameer Ghulam Azam during the Liberation War in 1971.
The prices of coarse rice shot up by more than 31 percent and wheat by 48 percent in the last one year, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan told parliament yesterday.
Criminal Investigation Department yesterday sought two more months to complete the investigation into one of the two cases following the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in 2004.
The High Court yesterday directed the police of Bogra to appeal to the local court for cancelling the bail of three people, who allegedly damaged and grabbed land of the Mahasthangarh archaeological site.
The Department of Telecom in India has decided to permit mobile towers within 500-meter of international border in a bid to counter incoming signals from neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh.
It was a defining moment for the Bengali nation when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman rose before a million-strong crowd on the afternoon of this day in 1971 to speak to us of the future. In a very formal sense, the man who was soon to be Father of the Nation informed us, through twenty minutes of profound oratory, that freedom was the goal for the people of Bangladesh, that the spirit which underscored the non-violent non-cooperation movement in place since the first day of March 1971 was sure to propel the nation toward the attainment of absolute sovereignty.
No doubt the government's open market operation has indeed helped ease the plight of the poor, and even the low middle income people have resorted to buying rice from the fair price outlets of late. This has been due primarily to a sharp increase in the price of the coarse variety of rice, which happens to be the staple for these people, during the last year on an average of nearly 30 percent. The price of course rice has recorded a fall recently, but only just.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons admitted that his confidence was 'dented' by the humiliating loss to West Indies last Friday, but was keen on forgetting the setback and moving on.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith hit back at claims his side had 'choked' again at the World Cup after a dramatic six-run loss to England on Sunday.
A second-half strike from Zahid Hasan Emily helped Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club edge Mohammedan SC 1-0 in the Grameenphone Bangladesh League at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson blasted International Cricket Council (ICC) boss Haroon Lorgat as "ridiculous" on Sunday for attempting to play down the Dhaka bus stoning controversy.
The Kuwait U23 side arrived in Dhaka yesterday morning to play their pre-Olympic qualifying away match against Bangladesh in search of another triumph to move into the next round.
Kevin Pietersen will undergo surgery on a hernia following the World Cup and has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League.
England revived their madcap World Cup campaign with a dramatic six-run win over South Africa on Sunday, raising new doubts over the Proteas' ability to close out matches under pressure.
Pakistan manager Intikhab Alam Sunday brushed aside criticism from former great Imran Khan, who said team selections at the World Cup had been negative.
New Zealand pace spearhead Tim Southee said Sunday that in-form Pakistan batsman Misbahul Haq was in his sights for the match between the Group A rivals on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara insisted that the loss of another point in Saturday's washout against Australia will not damage their World Cup dream.
Skipper Ricky Ponting believes his team needs more exposure to the cut and thrust of the World Cup following lengthy interludes and a rained-off match against Sri Lanka.
Kenya and Canada contest a battle of no-hopers on Monday, but both are determined to prove that the decision to drive them into the World Cup wilderness is wrong.
Skipper Andrew Strauss said England's dramatic six-run win over South Africa could kick-start their World Cup campaign.
The success of Shahid Afridi and Imran Tahir at the World Cup has laid to rest fears that the art of leg-spin had died with the retirement of the charismatic Shane Warne.
A rare Gennaro Gattuso goal sent leaders AC Milan eight points clear in Serie A after they dominated a poor Juventus 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin on Saturday ahead of Italy's main programme.
Mali international midfielder Seydou Keita scored only his second goal of the season as champions Barcelona moved ten points clear of Real Madrid in the Spanish first division with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Real Zaragoza on Saturday.
Arsenal blew the chance to reduce Manchester United's lead at the top of the Premier League to just one point after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland on Saturday.
Dirk Kuyt scored a hattrick to blow the Premier League title race wide open as Liverpool cruised to a 3-1 win over leaders Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Big-hitting Croat Ivo Karlovic on Saturday set a new world record with a 251km per hour serve in his country's Davis Cup World Group first round tie against Germany.
The state-run investment organisation and seven other state-owned enterprises have come forward to give a massive liquidity support to the shrivelling stockmarket by creating a Tk 5,000 crore fund.
Fast-shrinking agricultural lands have stoked fears of a food crisis as Bangladesh is failing to curb an indiscriminate transfer of arable lands to other uses in the absence of a proper law, analysts said yesterday.
Rice prices have shot up despite good harvests in the recent three crop seasons and there might be a discrepancy in the data on production and population, said Food Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque.
India's Tata Motors could bring its small car Nano, touted as the world's cheapest car, to the European market as early as 2013, although a final decision has not been made, its chief executive said.
Inadequate records and a lack of changes in business system prevent the country from preparing ideal value added tax laws, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
Stocks gained yesterday as investors went into heavy buying following a declaration of floating a Tk 5,000 crore fund by the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB).
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will import essential goods of around Tk 2,500 crore this year, the highest ever, to stabilise the market in the country.
Western Marine Shipyard has taken initiatives to provide employment to workers returning from trouble-hit Libya, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Ramizuddin Ahmed has been elected president of Dhaka Taxes Bar Association, says a statement yesterday.
Pran, one of Bangladesh's leading processed food and beverage companies, signed an agreement yesterday with Jaleel Holdings LLC of Dubai at its corporate headquarters in Dhaka for distribution of its products at chain shops in the United Arab Emirates.
As one of the more than 200 million people in China's huge migrant workforce, Lu Jun has had to hustle for jobs his entire life, but suddenly he finds he has more choices and bargaining power than ever.
The apparel industry that accounts for 75 percent of exports from Bangladesh is facing a dearth of skilled professionals, especially at mid-managerial levels.
Most students are in a dilemma over choosing a career path. They worry about moving forward in the right direction. A business expert, however, urges them to build a career in the garments and textiles sector, as it will enhance possibilities of becoming an entrepreneur in the future.
As prices of food and fuel reach historic highs, Asian nations with a wary eye on Middle East uprisings are doling out subsidies that experts warn are storing up trouble for the future.
Abhijit is fiercely proud of his Kawasaki Bajaj motorbike and considers himself a company loyalist.
The forthcoming British budget will be the most pro-growth for a generation, backing entrepreneurs and slashing business red tape, Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday.
Europe faces mounting pressure this week to bridge a political chasm running from north to south, and right to left, over how to harmonise economic policy.
A top Chinese official said Sunday inflation was likely to have slowed in February, just a day after Premier Wen Jiabao said reining in prices was the government's top priority this year.
Spain's ailing regional savings banks are scrambling to raise billions of euros of fresh funds to meet strict new capital requirements by a Thursday deadline.
Brazil is on the way to becoming Google Inc's sixth-largest global market, Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said on Friday as the company opens new offices in the fast-growing Latin American region.
PHOENIX FINANCE FIRST MUTUAL FUND
On the close of operation on March 1, the fund reported net asset value of Tk 9.81 per unit on current market price and Tk 11.31 per unit cost price against face value of Tk 10. Total net assets stood at over Tk 58.87 crore on market price and over Tk 67.83 crore on cost price after considering all assets and liabilities.
Bangladesh is keen to strengthen and diversify bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of trade and economy for mutual benefit with Kuwait, said Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday.
Speakers at an experience-sharing meeting yesterday underscored the need for more collaboration between government and non-government organisations (NGO) to make citizens' charter effective.
Around 100 people staged a demonstration in the port city yesterday, protesting the government's recent decision to remove Prof Dr Muhammad Yunus from the post of managing director of Grameen Bank.
A BDR special court read out charges against 275 out of 735 accused of the then Sadar Rifle Battalion yesterday, the fourth day of proceedings, at Darbar Hall of Pilkhana.
A gang of muggers snatched away Tk 8.20 lakh from a fuel trader after shooting him at Duptara bazar in Araihazar upazila yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a suomoto order directing the Public Works Department (PWD) to immediately stop constructing structures on the roof of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) office building.
An alleged dacoit was beaten to death by a mob at Lohagara upazila of the district yesterday.
Asia Pacific Programme Officer of STARS Foundation Cecele Hyafil will visit Impact Foundation Bangladesh (IFB) today.
The Central Training Exercise (CTE) 2011 of Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC) starts in Baipal Training area of Savar today.
Leaders of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday urged the people to forge a movement against communalism, price hike, violence, corruption, tender-manipulation and unemployment.
Officials of Proshika, one of country's non-government organisations, yesterday claimed that the new managing committee achieved significant success in developing mutual relationship with the government and different donor agencies.
India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi married Bengali graphic designer Yamini Roy at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state yesterday.
Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Pabna and Dinajpur yesterday.
Some 30 doctors received SK+F-Olitalia Health Award 2010-11 for their outstanding contribution to health care sector in a ceremony at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city on Saturday.
Terming Tarique Rahman "future statesman," BNP leaders yesterday said those who were responsible for torturing Tarique after his arrest during the immediate past caretaker government will be punished if the party comes into power.
Awami League Parliamentary Party (ALPP) is scheduled to sit on Thursday to discuss socio-economic and political situations.
Sex workers in Mymensingh brothel are crying for a shelter home to save their innocent kids from the 'dark world'.
The proposed amendments to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act will weaken the anti-graft watchdog, said speakers at a roundtable in Sylhet yesterday.
At least 27 houses, 25 shanties and 4 shops were gutted in fire incidents in Cox's Bazar, Narayanganj and Dinajpur on Saturday and Thursday.
A theft was committed at a temple at Gallamari on the bank of Mayur River under Sonadanga Police Station of Khulna city early yesterday.
Aggrieved depositors laid a siege to the house of Unipay2u agent in Sundarganj upazila under Gaibandha district on Saturday afternoon demanding immediate return of their deposit.
Non-government college teachers yesterday staged demonstrations in several districts across the country demanding restoration of time-scale and nationalisation of their job.
People of Rakhine community in Kuakata have urged the government to take early steps for reopening their community school to facilitate mother language learning of their children.
Hearing of charges against 153 mutineers of Chittagong sector headquarters began at the special court-15 yesterday.
A human chain was formed in the city yesterday demanding reinvestigation into Jessore Udichi murder case and exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of the carnage.
At least 100 people, including women were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers in Baniachang upazila Saturday.
National Nutrition Programme (NNP) staffs yesterday formed a human chain at Boda upazila headquarters in Panchagarh and blocked Dhaka-Panchagarh highway demanding withdrawal of the government's decision not to run the programme.
Bahubal police in Habiganj district in a drive on Thursday recovered 220 sacks of stolen rubber worth Tk 3.3 lakh from the house of one Rahmat Ali at Suaiya Bazaar.
Doctors, nurses and health workers held a procession at Natore Sadar Hospital yesterday demanding removal of the civil surgeon (CS). At a rally, Abdul Goni, resident medical officer of the hospital urged the authorities to remove the CS without further delay. Munsi Asad-uz-Zaman Tony, another RMO of the hospital announced protest programmes including black badge wearing, one hour strike from 8:00am to 9:00am from today to press his removal. Earlier on March 01, the protesters declared 72-hour ultimatum to remove the CS. Abdul Baten, CS in Natore said, some corrupt officials are trying to remove him as he took action against them.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr ATM Shamsul Huda will arrive in Khulna city this afternoon from Bagerhat to hold a meeting with officials of the district. According to deputy commissioner Jamsher Ahmed Khandaker, the CEC will hold discussion with officials of district and police administration, UNOs and all returning officers appointed to conduct ensuing UP elections. Meanwhile, 439 aspirants filed nomination papers to contest for the post of chairman of 68 union parishads under nine upazilas in Khulna district. Besides, 3,115 filed nomination papers for elections to the posts of general members and 863 to the posts of reserved woman members of 68 unions of the district.
A man was killed allegedly by his wife and son following a family feud at Jaypur village in Nababganj upazila Saturday night. The deceased was identified as M Mizanur Rahman. Police said Mizan's son Rantu Miah and first wife Bulbuli used to quarrel with him for returning home often in drunken state. On Saturday night when he returned home in drunken state the mother and the son locked in an altercation with him. At one stage, they stabbed him indiscriminately, leaving him dead on the spot.
A woman and a teenage boy allegedly committed suicide in the district yesterday and on Saturday night. The victims were identified as Muslima Begum, 45, wife of Mobarak Sana of village Sarulia in Tala upazila and Habibur Rahman, 15, son of Abul Khair of village Tulshidanga in Kalaroa upazila, also a student of class nine at Kalaroa Alia Madrasha. Quoting locals police said, Muslima took poison following a quarrel with her husband and died at home at about 10:30 pm on Saturday. In the other incident, Habibur committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his house at village Tulshidanga yesterday morning.
About 4,000 poultry birds of a farm killed in Patuakhali town were culled at about 8:00 pm on Saturday following detection of bird flue. Patuakhali Sadar upazila administration, livestock officials and policemen jointly killed the affected hens at 'Patuakhali Poultry Farm' at Bahalgachia in the town. Md Esha Mahmud, owner of the farm said he informed livestock officials following death of several hens at the farm. "They killed 3,700 pieces of hens of my farm and dumped them under the soil," he said.
Police and DB personnel in a joint drive rescued a girl, aged 14, from a brothel at Daulatdia Monday night. The girl was identified as Happy, daughter of Kuddus Bepari in Sadapur Mohabbatpur village of Nababganj upazila of Dhaka district. She was working in a garment factory in Mirpur. Goalonda police station SI Ilias Munshi said Raju, a young boy allured Happy to marry her in Faridpur on November 30 last year. But, he sold out Happy to the brothel. Later, Happy's family came to know about it and took legal assistance from Ain Sahayata Kendra (ASAK).
That was the fate of our workers, as reported in Palma's front page column in your daily on 3rd March, that records the stark failure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Expatriate Ministry! Our workers were, as reported, left destitute, helpless and hungry! Even desperate telephone calls were countered with false promises. Meanwhile, as stated by our workers who suffered there, Thailand, Vietnam and even Nepal could remove their workers to safe place from near the Egyptian borders and gave them food, shelter and safety, before sending them home! Our unfortunate workers were left helpless, hungry and lost in the desert!
Any democratic pro-people government bears constitutional and moral obligations to create suitable conditions for the socially marginalised and extremely vulnerable population of the country so that they are able to at least live and die with minimum human dignity. Bangladesh, unfortunately, for various different reasons has been teeming with formidable number of such type of people both in urban and rural areas. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the government regardless of party divide to put in place institutionalised, class-specific, sustainable programmes to address this awful situation urgently.
Ireland's three wicket victory over mighty England at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangaluru on Wednesday caused one of the major upsets in the cricketing history of the 2011 World Cup. Chasing a total of 327, Ireland at one stage was reeling at 111 losing five vital wickets. But it was wicketkeeper Kevin O'Brien who stole the limelight by knocking the fastest century in the history of World Cup that made him the absolute hero overnight. His majestic knock of 113 in just 63 balls paved the way for Ireland to clinch the upsetting victory.
Our Hon. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni asserted on Friday 04 March, 2011 that the removal of Dr. Muhammad Yunus from the top position of Grameen Bank will not strain Bangladesh's diplomatic relations with the United States terming the removal decision a domestic issue which has been taken in accordance with law.
The nation that does not revere its jewels is a doomed nation. Dr Yunus has brought so much pride, and so much joy for the whole nation, yet he finds himself out of favour with the government within five years of winning the Nobel Prize. He has conceived, groomed and brought Grameen Bank to where it is now. Grameen Bank is the product of his blood and sweat. Millions of people around the world know of Bangladesh and show some respect for Bangladesh because of Dr Yunus.
It is a matter of great pride and honour that a part of World Cup Cricket 2011 is being held in Bangladesh. Nobody can deny that it is a great occasion for our nation known to many as a poor one fighting against natural calamities, wide spread corruption, over population and illiteracy. This World Cup Cricket has brought an opportunity for us to show the world that like others we have also our own culture, heritage and natural beauties.
The world is passing through a very difficult time, unrest has erupted in many countries across the Middle East, natural calamities like floods, cyclones, earthquakes, forest fires are taking a huge toll of lives and properties all over the world, crimes of all sorts have gone up considerably.
Even after four decades, the political leaders are not leaning their lessons. They think that they were invincible, and above the law, and public opinion. The political unrest in North African and Middle East countries, are signs of change, which might affect political cultures all over the world, including Bangladesh.
Usually, the people of Bangladesh are very friendly and co-operative. But, the incident that occurred on Friday was very sad. A few aggressive people threw stones towards the bus which was carrying the cricketers of West Indies. It was a very shocking news for the Bangladeshis abroad. As a host country, it is our duty to ensure the foreign players' security.
The front page picture of The Daily Star on February 28, 2011 says it all. Rivers and canals are like the veins in a human body which serve as a life line for a particular region. The country has become the victim of greed and lust of some people in the absence of a true patriotic leader/ government.
Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star report headlined “Anti-graft hope hinges on JS”
Muammar Gaddafi said he wanted the United Nations or the African Union to probe the unrest rocking Libya and promised investigators free access, in an interview published yesterday.
Thousands of demonstrators massed yesterday at Manama's Al-Qudaibiya Palace, where Bahrain's cabinet meets, chanting slogans against the tiny but strategic Gulf state's government.
A Taliban-style roadside bomb tore through a car in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province yesterday, killing 12 civilians and wounding five others, the provincial administration said.
China's state media stepped up its criticism of calls for anti-government rallies yesterday, saying stability was key amid concern that unrest sweeping the Middle East could spread to the Asian nation.
While the global eye remains fixed on Libya, a civil war has caught flame in Ivory Coast, and world leaders beyond the ailing country have all but acquiesced to letting it burn.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday told General David Petraeus, the commander of US-led troops in Afghanistan, that his apology after nine children were killed in a Nato air strike was "not enough".
France hailed yesterday the creation of a Libyan 'National Council' by the leaders of the armed revolt against Muammar Gaddafi, and said it supported its objectives.
Sri Lanka has held secret talks with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on alleged war crimes during the defeat of Tamil separatists, a press report said yesterday.
Egypt yesterday named its former ambassador to the United Nations, Nabil al-Arabi, as foreign minister in the latest move to purge the cabinet of members of toppled president Hosni Mubarak's regime.
Heavy fighting erupted in western Ivory Coast between rebels and forces loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, sources along the Liberian border told Reuters yesterday.
An earthquake measuring 6.2 hit an area of northern Chile early yesterday, the US government reported.
Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen killed four soldiers in Yemen yesterday
Jacques Chirac expects to go on trial Monday (today), the first former French president to face corruption charges, as alleged murky dealings in his office when he was mayor of Paris finally catch up with him.
Police shot dead a suspected rebel as he resisted detention in the troubled Russian Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria, investigators said yesterday.
A roadside bomb killed six people and wounded 12 aboard a bus in Iraq's southern port city of Basra yesterday, a provincial official said.
Japan's Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara announced his resignation yesterday over donations received from a foreign resident in violation of the country's laws.
Alberto Granado, the travel companion of leftist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara on their famed 1950s motorcycle trip through South America, died Saturday in Cuba, official media reported.
Arts & Entertainment
The sixth phase of Chhayanaut's yearlong project to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore featured a four-day programme that included plays, films and a special lecture. On the third day (March 5), "Bisharjan" was staged and the lecture was presented at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Fifty-year-old Jahurul Haque finds immense fulfillment in making harmoniums in Kurigram.
Way back in 1993, I was presented a rare audio cassette featuring rendition by Dilip Kumar Roy, a famous singer of the 1930s and son of the illustrious DL Roy. The cassette was given to me by Dr. Khan (a reputed physician settled in the US) who had driven all the way from Ohio to Pennsylvania with the tape.
The weeklong Bangladesh Street Theatre Festival 2011 at the Central Shaheed Minar premises in Dhaka ends today. The fifth day (March 5) of the festival featured seven plays by different troupes from and outside Dhaka.
I am hoping to see Shakib Al Hasan and his men reach the quarter finals, and if they can cause an upset the side could progress further in the tournament. The tigers are playing in their own grounds and it is a very encouraging aspect. I watched the opening match at home. I plan not to miss a single game of Bangladesh and will even watch matches at the shooting spots if I have to. Australia may be crowned champions while South Africa can be the runners up. Sachin Tendulkar has the mettles to become man of the tournament.
As part of a nationwide event, Shishu Kishor Khelaghar Ashor's Natore unit held an art competition for children last Friday morning. The competition was held at Nabobidhan Girls' High School field in Natore town. Some 114 students from different schools took part in the competition.
On the occasion of the International Women's Day 2011, the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh and Alliance Francaise de Dhaka are organising a 10-day event to reflect on the key role of women in our society and their engagement in the development of Bangladesh. The event will feature an exhibition and seminar.
It is this writer's view that the March 7th speech was Bangabandhu's finest hour. He stood far taller than ever before and with him we too stood taller. He was always known for being a powerful speaker. But that day, 26 years ago, he outperformed himself a thousand times over, and a thousand times more empowered we felt that day. During that crucial March afternoon, and especially through the electrifying moments of the speech he stood towering above the nation, singly shouldering the burden of leading an unprepared people towards sell assertion.
The spring is the time of the year when the Bengali people had many times in the past risen up in protest against oppression, injustice, betrayal and tyranny by authorities in power. Sometimes those oppressors were alien regimes, while at others they were home-grown autocrats. Bengali youths revolted against the Pakistani rulers' conspiracy to demean and relegate their mother tongue to a subordinate status on a spring day of February 21 about six decades back.
As Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman rose to speak before the million people gathered at the Race Course in Dhaka, indeed before the seventy five million people of Bangladesh on March 7, 1971, the moment turned electric with excitement.
Over the last two decades, the country experienced phenomenal urban growth, and has now become an epitome of squalor and poverty and an environmental abyss. Despite the everyday trauma, rigours, and exhaustion, people are endlessly attracted to the city, for it seems to have work, livelihood and even prosperity on offer.
I like Prof. Yunus a lot, and more than that I respect him. I also know that there are many like me. I remember, on hearing the news of Prof. Yunus' Nobel Prize I jumped about and screamed like a person gone mad with happiness. There have not been too many such occasions in my life. My happiness was not because someone I knew got the Nobel Prize but because the prestige of Bangladesh went sky high. Only those who have lived abroad can truly gauge how cruelly, indifferently and disrespectfully Bangladesh is sometimes talked about, and it is Prof. Yunus and his work that have helped us enormously to counter that. The Wall Street Journal in a recent piece, pointing out the difference between Pakistan and Bangladesh, wrote, “Pakistan's hero is a rogue nuclear scientist who unlawfully smuggled nuclear technology, while Bangladesh's hero is Prof. Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for helping the poor with small loans”.
Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the telephone.